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Kimberly Rhode wins gold in shooting, becomes first American to medal in five straight Olympics

Kimberly Rhode of the United States poses with

Kimberly Rhode of the United States poses with her gold medal at a press conference at The Main Press Center after winning the Women's Skeet Shooting on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games. (July 29, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

LONDON -- Step aside, Carl Lewis. You, too, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Al Oerter.

Meet Kimberly Rhode, the first American with individual medals in five straight Olympics, after a golden, record-setting, nearly perfect performance.

Rhode won the women's skeet shooting Sunday, tying a world record and setting the Olympic mark with 99 points -- meaning she missed once in 100 shots. She was eight targets better than silver medalist Wei Ning of China and nine better than Slovakia's Danka Bartekova, who topped Russia's Marina Belikova in a shootout for the bronze.

Rhode won in double trap at Atlanta as a teenager in 1996, took bronze in that event four years later at Sydney, re-claimed the gold at Athens in 2004 and won the silver in skeet at Beijing in 2008.

Now, golden again.

"It's just been an incredible journey," Rhode said, strands of glitter intertwined with her blonde hair. "And ultimately, I couldn't be happier for bringing home the gold for the United States."

Lewis, Oerter, Joyner-Kersee and Bruce Baumgartner are the other Americans recognized as individual medal-winners in four straight Summer Olympics. Rhode is at five now, and at 33 years old, she's not planning to stop anytime soon.

"I would like to learn from her," Wei, the silver medalist, said, smiling at Rhode.

Rhode becomes the eighth U.S. woman with at least five individual Olympic medals -- speedskater Bonnie Blair and Joyner-Kersee each have six, and Shirley Babashoff, Janet Evans, Shannon Miller, Amanda Beard and Natalie Coughlin also have five.

"It's been an overwhelming experience," Rhode said. "Every emotion hits you at once."

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